This was not going to be just another cold case.
The January 2011 shooting in a Redlands apartment complex left two teens dead, two others wounded and a community in shock and grieving. The incident rallied residents, with more than 1,000 people attending a vigil in the days following the shooting, and another 400-plus walking to mark the one-year anniversary.
Monday, law enforcement officials announced the arrest of four suspects in connection with the shooting.
“When I became the police chief here I made a commitment to those families not to allow this case to go into a cold case status,” Redlands Police Chief Mark Garcia said. “We were going to do everything that we could to solve this case. And that task that I gave my investigators, they took me seriously on that, and they did a lot of hard work to get to this point. It’s very satisfying to let the families know that they’re one step closer to resolution.”
Police arrested Anthony John Legaspi, 18, John David Salazar, 22, and Adrian Powers, 18 – all of Redlands – and charged them with two counts of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted murder with special allegations of the use of a gun and membership in a criminal street gang. They are being held in lieu of $5 million bail.
The other defendant, Jose Lara, 28, of Redlands, was charged with accessory after the fact. He is being held in lieu of $2.5 million bail.
All four were arraigned Monday morning, and entered not guilty pleas, and are due back in court Friday to confirm their representation, according to the San Bernardino Sun.
District attorney Michael Ramos said Legaspi and Powers, who were juveniles at the time of the crime, are both being charged as adults, and each face 220 years to life in prison.
Legaspi, Lara and Salazar are documented members of a local Latino street gang.
Police arrested Legaspi, Lara and Powers at their homes last Thursday. Salazar was arrested following a traffic stop also on Thursday.
In the court complaint, Legaspi is accused of firing the shots that killed Quinn McCaleb, 17, and Andrew Jackson, 16.
Lara is accused of aiding Legaspi in hiding the crime. If convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison.
Redlands Police has worked with members of the district attorney’s office to bring this case to closure. Members of the Multiple Enforcement Team interviewed more than 250 people and served about 50 search warrants to identify the four suspects and gather enough evidence to lead to the arrests.
Deputy District Attorney Ron Webster, considered one of the top gang prosecutors in the state according to Ramos, has been appointed to prosecute the case.
“Now it’s our turn,” Ramos said. “Redlands PD has gone out there and interviewed hundreds and they’ve done their work, so now it’s our turn. We’re going to fight, there’s going to be motions I’m sure by the time we get to trial, it’s going to be some time. I’m very confident in my lawyers. … It’s a big step today.”